What is Lifelong Learning?
Before delving into ways to practice lifelong learning, we must first define what it is.
The Department of Education and Science (Ireland) defines lifelong learning as an “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge.
According to Skills You Need:
Lifelong learning is about creating and maintaining a positive attitude to learning both for personal and professional development. Lifelong learners are motivated to learn and develop because they want to: it is a deliberate and voluntary act. Lifelong learning can enhance our understanding of the world around us, provide us with more and better opportunities and improve our quality of life.
How can we be lifelong learners in our day-to-day lives with our children? Here are some tips for you.
How to Practice Lifelong Learning
1. Order books on topics you are interested in and make time to read.
2. Plan day trips and take tours.
3. Visit a local museum.
4. Take a nature hike.
5. Allow spontaneity.
6. Budget for education and hobbies.
7. Surround yourself with other lifelong learners.
8. Listen to music from a variety of genres.
9. Read all kinds of poetry.
10. Try new foods.
11. Visit an art gallery.
12. Take music lessons.
13. Host a foreign exchange student.
14. Learn a foreign language.
15. Get a dictionary and take the time to look up words anytime you come across ones you don’t know.
16. Learn from different mediums.
17. Attend seminars on topics that interest you.
18. Watch TV, movie and web documentaries on topic of interest.
19. Buy used college text books on topics that interest you.
20. Follow up on the references in the books you read.
21. Talk to, listen to, and read experts in the field you’re interested in.
22. Don’t assume everything you read is true!
23. Highlight words, phrases or quotes that inspire or intrigue you.
24. Join online communities and groups of learners.
25. Make learning your lifestyle.
26. Take online courses.
27. Don’t just read; review and talk about what you read and the ideas it spawned.
28. Write summaries putting what you’ve learned into your own words.
29. Set learning goals.
30. Write essays and research papers on topics you’re learning about.
31. Teach! A great way to learn is to teach.
32. Take notes.
33. Have a schedule.
34. Join a book club.
35. Encourage learning ownership.
36. Turn mistakes into opportunities.
37. Find time to play.
38. Use technology to your advantage.
39. Mentor others.
40. Determine your learning strengths.
41. Develop a growth mindset.
42. Talk about what you’ve learned.
43. Keep a “to learn” list.
44. Ask questions when you are confused or don’t understand something.
45. Practice thinking for yourself.
46. Keep a journal.
48. Put what you learn into practice.
49. Choose a career that encourages learning.
50. Improve your memory.
Benefits of Lifelong Learning
The benefits of lifelong learning, also known as self-guided education, are many. Here are a few:
• You improve your self-confidence.
• You trust yourself and your level of competence.
• You are never bored; staying challenged keeps you focused and learning.
• It keeps your brain healthy and your mind sharp.
• Your brain will continue to grow and develop more neural pathways.
• You protect your brain with continual use from diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
• You will sleep better! When you exercise your body, it gets tired; the same thing happens to your mind.
• It makes you more valuable as an employee.
• Lifelong learning fuels creativity and innovation.
• It gives excellent problem-solving skills.
Lifelong Learning Quotes
“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” – Alexandra K. Trenfor
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford
“I am still learning.” – Michelangelo, age 87
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey
“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it from you.” – B.B. King
“All of life is constant education.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“I am always doing what I cannot do yet. In order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Goah
“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” – Albert Einstein
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.” – Brian Tracy
“I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or successes and the failures. I divide the world into learners and non-learners.” – Benjamin Barber
“The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches a lesson.” – Tom Bodett
“When you take the free will our of education that turns it into schooling.” – John Taylor Gatto
“It is not hard to learn more. What is hard is to unlearn when you discover yourself wrong.” – Martin H. Fischer